Trying a New Thing
July 1, 2008 6:20pm CST
Anyone out there just recently (like within the last 2 years) newly disabled and learning how to enjoy your life in different ways than you ever did before? What kinds of things do you find difficult in your quest? What tips would you give to others going through the same kind of thing? My situation involves pretty severe arthritis in my knees that I cannot get operated on at this time, so walking has become something of a challenge to say the least. I have so far refused to get a wheelchair because I want to use what I can for as long as I can. But I do use the motorized scooters when I go shopping. Unfortunately, I can only shop in a few places because of the lack of availability of these scooters, and there are many other activities I am shut out of because of the same problem. So should I break down and find myself a wheelchair? I can't afford a motorized scooter of my own at this point, but I would probably not have anyone with me much of the time to push the wheelchair if I did go out and use it. I don't like going places alone anyway, so maybe that wouldn't be an issue after all. I use a cane at this time. So, what do you think? What has been your experience? I have not been doing a lot of activities that I really would enjoy doing again because of this problem. How about you? Are you struggling with these issues too? What are you doing to overcome the problems? I have a computer chair in my kitchen that helps me get around when cooking or doing any kind of kitchen chore. I love having that. It will also be a help to "carry" things from room to room as I load it down and push it.
• United States
2 Jul 08
I have found myself in pretty much the same situation as you. I have a bad knee and some other health problems and walking can be quite difficult. So I have a chair and a TV tray set up in the kitchen next to the microwave so I can sit there and cook, microwave things, cut and chop and grate things so I am not a totally useless person. At least I feel sort of like I'm helping out the family then. I did move in with my daughter and her three children because I was sick enough that I could not take care of myself at all for quite a while there. So from that standpoint, I am a lot better! Then I had major surgery three months ago and I still haven't gotten better from that. So things are a lot different for me too. I used to be fairly active, going out all the time to thrift stores, out to eat, to the park to walk, all kinds of fun stuff. So being unable to get around is kind of hard sometimes but I feel poorly often enough that staying home is mostly ok. I had to sell my car, couldnt' afford to have one. I do go to the store sometimes, mostly just to get out of the house but you're right, not enough stores have those scooters! I can go to WalMart of the grocery store if I go early enough in the day so there's a cart available. I can even go to Home Depot or Lowes cuz they have the scooters too,well unless they've changed in the last couple years anyway. In fact I've been thinking of having my daughter drive me over to Home Depot just so I can look around, plus I have a gift card over there too. So I can actually do some shopping and get out for a bit! And I avoided trying to get a motorized wheelchair or scooter because I felt like I was giving in to the disability and I had some silly idea of not doing that! But then after the surgery, I thought, well if I had one, I could go with my daughter and three grandsons to the fair or the park or the mall but my insurance said NO, that I could walk so no go on a scooter or wheelchair! And yes, I CAN walk, for MAYBE a block [big maybe on that far] but then I will fall flat on my face if I don't sit down IMMEDIATELY. So, don't get to go out much cuz of the insurance so not sure what my next step should be.
• United States
2 Jul 08
I sure know what you are talking about. My knee wasn't what knocked me down. It was a heart issue that I have had occassionally for the last 14 years, but went chronic back in June 06 until April 07. It is called atrial fibrillation and I got so bad with that that it was just an effort to walk from one end of my home to the other, or to take a shower or bath, or to fix a simple meal. I ended up on disability but since I spent most of my adult life as a stay at home mom and wife, my disability isn't enough to live on. So I have to work part time, which I was lucky enough to find something to do from home. I am stubborn and don't ask for help when I probably should. I went through the worst of the sickness just trying to keep going and keep the full time job I had at the time until they fired me because I was so sick I think they didn't want me dying on them or something. You know how it is when you start feeling better--that is when you start realizing how sick you really were. That is how it was for me when I started feeling better. Unfortunately, it left me with a lot less muscle tone and weak in the legs, so I am trying to strengthen them. But the arthritis is pretty bad. I just doubt at this time that surgery is an option for me until my heart issue becomes more stable--if it does. I don't have insurance, and won't be eligible for medicare for over a year yet, and my job makes my income too high for good medicaid, so most medical care is out of reach unless it is for something with my heart. WalMart is about the only store I can go to as well. I used to attend concerts in the park and lots of activities with my church, but even my church "friends" turned their backs on me when I got sick. Thankfully I have a few good friends and good children who care and help me out. Sounds like you and I are both stubborn enough to keep going for a good long time yet.
1 person likes this
2 Jul 08
I am sorry to hear about your trouble,I am also sufferring from an illness which is called Keratoconus,which made my right eye almost blind...but striving with the awesome situation can be a good good thing if we see it just as a exam of will.We might lose a lot and suffer a lot from the hard situation we are facing now.But we can change our mood and master our live by ourself..
• United States
4 Jul 08
I agree with you. It only makes things worse when we allow the situation to beat us down. We have to make do with what we have or what we have left. And we have to keep going. That is a lot better than the alternative of just settling into depression and not growing through what we are dealing with.